The Difference between Fundamental Rights & DPSP and Similarity too

Q. I have a funny doubt. Can a citizen demand the government to obey the DPSPs? I wonder whether the DPSP’s are also my rights?

My ANSWER:

For most students of law and constitution, it is common knowledge that Part 3 of the Constitution deals with Fundamental rights, while Part 4 of the Constitution deals with the DPSP, also called as Directive Principles of State Policy.

Now, a few lines about fundamental rights.

Fundamental rights are the rights guaranteed by the Constitution of India and are justiciable – which means the part 3 of the Constitution of India- guarantees to all its citizens, certain rights which, in the words of Dr. Ambedkar- is the ‘Soul of the Constitution of India’.

On the other hand, is Part 4 of the Constitution, which deals with the DPSP’s which are in simple terms the directions given by the founding fathers of the Constitution of India to the future governments to ensure social and economical justice of the citizens of this country.

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Now, let us look at fundamental rights from a different viewpoint.

 

                Can we say that fundamental rights are ‘negative’ directions to the State, given by the Founding Fathers of the Constitution of India?

For instance, Article 20 of the Constitution, which is titled- ‘Protection from arbitrary conviction’, can also be read as ‘DIRECTIONS’ prohibiting  the state, from convicting any citizen arbitrarily (negative direction to the state).

Let us take another example- Article 14 deals with the fundamental right of ‘equality before law’ and ‘equal protection of laws‘. Can we read article 14 as the ‘DIRECTIONS’ prohibiting  the state from dealing with any individual or class of people arbitrarily (unequally) in the eyes of law?

I hope you are getting my drift.

So, we conclude that fundamental rights are although-RIGHTS  of the citizens of India but they can also be read as negative DIRECTIONS of the founding fathers of the Constitution given to the state.

Here comes my main query.

So, if part 3 of the Constitution deals with fundamental rights which are also types of directions to the State – can we infer, that part 4 of the Constitution which deals with Directive principles of state policy, which are directions to the state from the Founding fathers of the Constitution, are also type of rights the citizens?

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To answer this query, let us travel back in time – to the time when, the Constitution was being drafted.

The Founding fathers of the Constitution, including the great- Dr B.R. Ambedkar, were fully aware and alive to the fact that they were drafting the Constitution for us, Indians, who had suffered humiliation, insults, inequality at the hands of our colonial masters for the last 300 years.

We, as Indians did not have political rights, civil rights, social rights or even economical rights during the colonial rule. This HAD to change…..

So, the Founding fathers of the Constitution decided that- the citizens of India should receive in full measure, whatever is available to them today i.e. on the date of the formation of a constitution.

And what was that, which was available ?

Those were civil rights and political rights.

Therefore from the very first day that the Constitution came into force -The Constitution delivered to the citizens of India- Civil rights and Political rights, in the form of Part 3 of the Constitution and brought it under the umbrella of the guarantee of the Constitution of India.

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On the other hand, were the social rights and economical rights.

The Founding fathers,  also wanted the citizens of India to get social and economical rights, however, looking at the socio-economic scenario prevalent at that time, it would not have been possible to bring such rights under the guarantee of the Constitution of India.

Hence, these social and economic rights had to wait.

The Founding fathers of the Constitution, therefore gave directions to the future Government (s) of India, that whenever social and economical scenario of the country changes and becomes conducive, these principles (directions) must be utilised to provide social and economical rights to the citizens of India.

Thus, Part 4 of the Constitution, although in the form of directions- also deals with the rights of the citizens, however, these are social and economic rights and not under guarantee the Constitution of India.

Conclusion

Part 3 of the Constitution  is titled as RIGHTS, but can also be read as DIRECTIONS.

Similarly, Part 4 of the Constitution is titled as DIRECTIONS, but can also be read as RIGHTS of the citizens of India.

The only difference being that Fundamental rights come with the Guarantee of the Constitution of India, while DPSPs -Not!

 

I rest my case.

By:

Adv.Sidharth Arora

 

 

study like a boss
Difference and Similarity between Fundamental Rights and DPSP

 

 

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